Social network service Twitter provides users with a legitimate platform to casually write whatever thoughts may come to their head. Unsurprisingly, there have been many instances of people posting thoughts they probably should have kept to themselves. The fallout from these cyber-gaffes is usually limited to people having a few laughs at the poster’s expense, or some loss in credibility for those with more celebrity.
However, several ‘tweets’ on Chinese Twitter clone Zuosa have recently caused an uproar among the Internet masses for their cold-heartedness, and the utter lack of common sense requisite to post them.
The person responsible for the commotion is a doctor working at a hospital in the Guangdong province. In a series of three tweets, she details, in a completely unconcerned manner, how she kept a terminal patient on life-support against the family’s wishes so she could time the patient’s death to coincide with her being off duty.
A rough English translation of the tweets is as follows:
“I’m such a great person! Last night the family told me to stop life-support, but I kept them alive until today! They started vomiting blood when it was time for me to go home, so it’s probably about their time. But I’m going home so, whatever! Yaaay!”
“Looks like it’s time to see if my work has paid off. The patient’s blood oxygen levels are dropping; at this rate it looks like I’ll get stuck with charge of the dead body. But it’s super cold today—like it doesn’t even matter that I’m wearing a jacket! If you’re going to die, please do it after I get home, mm’kay?”
“Good news! The patient died before my shift this afternoon! Looks like I can get some sleep tonight! Gonna need it, because tomorrow I’m going out!”
The posts caught the attention of other Zousa users, who were quick to re-post them across the net. Her blog was flooded with indignant comments and criticism, demanding that action be taken toward her irresponsibility.
When word of the incident reached the hospital, they opened their own investigation of the accused doctor by examining her working hours and the patients under her care. Though the doctor herself denied any involvement, the hospital determined that there was a high probability she was the same person responsible for the tweets. As a result, she was suspended of her doctoral duties and demoted to working in the laundry room.
Whoa now, give the poor girl a little mercy…
It turns out that, in China, this kind of punishment is only given for serious medical accidents. For it to be applied to a doctor for things said, not done, is unprecedented.
That’s right, she was actually punished more severely than normal.
Furthermore, a hospital authority commented in regards to her returning to the workplace, “It depends on the person herself; we’ll make a decision after we wait and see how she behaves. First we want to urge her to reflect on her actions.”